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Verizon 4G LTE Outages Get an Explanation from the Company

by Sean P. Aune | December 30, 2011December 30, 2011 8:00 am PDT

Verizon 4G LTE

Verizon has finally decided to address the issue of why it’s 4G LTE network has gone down so much as of late.  Big Red’s next generation network has gone down at least partially three times this month, first on December 7 and again just this week.  With AT&T finally getting its own LTE network underway, it makes sense that Verizon felt compelled to finally issue a statement on the matter as they are about to get some competition.

While you can read the full statement below, the short version is that a piece of software called IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem), which has been around for some time, has never been used in an LTE network before, and some issues in its core programming have caused all of these outages.  The first major outage happened back in April of this year, and the software issue that caused that one was resolved.  Since that time new issues have appeared, and while annoying, luckily none of them have been as severe as the first one.  The one from the December 7 crash was due to the failure of a back-up communications database, the second saw an IMS element not responding correctly and the last was because two IMS elements were not communicating as expected.

As one would expect, Verizon is saying that they are doing everything they can to make sure outages like this don’t happen again, but as with any time you are trying to make differing parts work together, you never know what might happen.  You can read Verizon’s full statement below.

What do you think of what Verizon has to say?

In light of recent events, Verizon Wireless shared the following statement about its 4GLTE Network:

The Verizon Wireless 4GLTE Network is BY FAR the largest and the most advanced 4GLTE wireless network in the world. It is available in 190 US markets and covers more than 200 million people, providing the fastest 4G Network in the US.

Being a pioneer comes with growing pains. The recent issues that affected our customers’ 4GLTE service were unforeseen despite careful, diligent planning, deployment and ongoing upgrade programs.

Problems customers experienced affected connectivity to the 4GLTE Network and data service. Several times, we have proactively “moved” 4GLTE customers onto our 3G Network to ensure all would have a data connection. For brief periods, such as on Wednesday (12/28), 4GLTE customers could not connect to the 3G Network as quickly as we would have liked.

Nonetheless, we estimate that 4GLTE connectivity has been available approximately 99 percent of the time this year.

Why have these issues occurred with our 4GLTE Network? Each incident has been different from a technical standpoint. Our engineers have successfully diagnosed those past triggering events, and they have not re-occurred. We also work diligently to rectify technical problems in the Network before they affect any customers.

Our 3G and 1X Networks continue to reliably process calls, texts and data for customers with 3G devices and, when necessary, 4GLTE devices. It continues to perform at the high level that established it as the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G Network.

We are taking a number of steps, working closely with our network suppliers, to ensure the integrity of our 4GLTE Network. We continue to fortify and improve its performance, and our goal is that our 4GLTE Network meets the same high standards that our 3G Network has set for performance and reliability.

Among the numerous measures we have taken or will take are: geographic segmentation, which enables us to isolate, contain and rectify network performance issues, and maintain service to the majority of customers when an issue does develop; and software fixes that we have developed, tested and applied regularly – and will continue to do so. Both will improve performance and reliability.

And finally, we are learning from these issues and applying the same gold standard to our 4GLTE Network that make our 3G Network the nation’s largest and most reliable.

Verizon Wireless is a leader and pioneer in this cutting edge technology that provides very fast wireless data speeds, enabling customers to enjoy the best experience in video and other wireless data usage. Clear unbuffered streaming video, super fast file downloads and wide availability are among the advantages we offer to customers. The capabilities of 4GLTE have exceeded many expectations.

We will not rest until our 4GLTE network performs at the very highest levels that our customers have come to expect from us.

 


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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